Direct Communication Between Brains: A Systematic PRISMA Review of Brain-To-Brain Interface
Frontiers in Neurorobotics
This paper aims to review the current state of brain-to-brain interface (B2BI) technology and its potential. B2BIs function via a brain-computer interface (BCI) to read a sender's brain activity and a computer-brain interface (CBI) to write a pattern to a receiving brain, transmitting information. We used the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) to systematically review current literature related to B2BI, resulting in 15 relevant publications. Experimental
... papers primarily used transcranial magnetic stimulation (tMS) for the CBI portion of their B2BI. Most targeted the visual cortex to produce phosphenes. In terms of study design, 73.3% (11) are unidirectional and 86.7% (13) use only a 1:1 collaboration model (subject to subject). Limitations are apparent, as the CBI method varied greatly between studies indicating no agreed upon neurostimulatory method for transmitting information. Furthermore, only 12.4% (2) studies are more complicated than a 1:1 model and few researchers studied direct bidirectional B2BI. These studies show B2BI can offer advances in human communication and collaboration, but more design and experiments are needed to prove potential. B2BIs may allow rehabilitation therapists to pass information mentally, activating a patient's brain to aid in stroke recovery and adding more complex bidirectionality may allow for increased behavioral synchronization between users. The field is very young, but applications of B2BI technology to neuroergonomics and human factors engineering clearly warrant more research.